In a recently published paper by Ermilov et al in Systematic and Applied Acarology, an interesting morphological difference was discovered in the oribatid mite species, Coetzeella navalensis, which lives inside termite nests. Observations showed that in some individuals of this mite the anterior side of the prodorsum (head) is flat and smooth while other individuals have movable blades forming a ‘tube’. Further studies are needed to confirm the mechanism and reason of this phenomenon and if it relates to living with termites.
This article also described a new species of oribatid mite from termite nests in the Faan Meintjes Nature Reserve near Klerksdorp. The new species, Saltatrichus louiseae, was named in honor of Dr Louise Coetzee, who worked at the National Museum as an acarologist.
See: Ermilov S.G., Hugo-Coetzee, E.A., Khaustov, A.A. & Theron, P.D. (2019) Oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) inhabiting termite nests in the Faan Meintjes Nature Reserve (South Africa). Systematic and Applied Acarology, 24(9): 1783–1798